- This voyage is also available in 2018. Read more here.
Spitsbergen is the crown of Arctic Norway; an island forged by wind, ocean, ice and snow. Its location creates a biological hot spot, where the frigid Arctic Ocean meets the warmer currents of the Gulf Stream.
Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
The fascinating settlements of Spitsbergen each have their own distinct atmosphere, but share a rough and tumble pioneering spirit drawn from their founding days. This adventure starts in the community often referred to as the capital of Svalbard. Here you’ll find all the amenities of a modern small town – situated in a fantastic Arctic landscape. The history of Longyearbyen is rich with a tradition of coal mining, and remnants from the early mining ventures can be seen everywhere. In the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, there will be opportunities to visit the Pomor Museum (optional) and see a lively folklore show. After this visit, we will continue out of Isfjorden and head north along Prins Karls Forland.
Crossing 80° N
We will sail into Magdalenefjord and the North West corner to take in cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century. We will make a tender boat landing here. Moffen is a high latitude islet, located above the 80th parallel and a popular home for walrus. We will try to reach this far north if wind and ice conditions allow.
Striking fjords and Ny-Ålesund
Smeerenburgfjord and Raaudfjord are large fjords in North Spitsbergen that offer a strikingly varied landscape – from small islands to large mountain chains. We might get lucky and spot a polar bear searching for seals. We will spend our day exploring the beautiful area of Lilliehöökfjord, the inner part of Kongsfjord with the magnificent glacier front of Lilliehööglacier. Kongsfjord is the largest fjord on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen. The landscape here varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. At the end of the fjord, you will find the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier).
At 78º 55’ N, Ny-Ålesund is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining community, Ny-Ålesund is now an advanced High Arctic research station. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and there is a lot of activity in the summer. On our way back to Longyearbyen, we will visit the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by giant glaciers that covered the area ten thousand years ago.
The grand dame of Hurtigruten
Explore this extraordinary natural world from the classic ship MS Nordstjernen. Built for the Hurtigruten fleet in 1956, she has been extensively modernised, while maintaining her warm classic wooden interior fittings and comfortable lodgings. Because MS Nordstjernen is a small vessel, she will take us to the less accessible pearls of these beautiful coastlines, making your voyage one-of-a-kind and truly unforgettable.
During the entire adventure, our programme of shore excursions will take you close to both Arctic wildlife and cultural reminders of the early whaling era.